‘Everybody is self-empowered today’
Even though the insider vs outsider debate is heating up with each passing day, singer Nikhita Gandhi — who began her career in 2013 with a Tamil film — feels that with the advent of social media and streaming platforms, it’s not really tough for a newcomer to make a mark in the industry.
“It’s not impossible to establish yourself nowadays, especially because things are a lot more transparent in terms of putting yourself out there. You can just make your own Youtube account, and there’s no protocol to be followed. Even releasing music through distributors is just online. Nobody is meeting in person or brokering you into the industry, and I feel that’s what makes it amazing. Everybody is self-empowered today,” says the singer who has delivered hits such as Raabta title track (Raabta; 2017), Aao Kabhi Haveli Pe (Stree; 2018), Qafirana (Kedarnath; 2018) and Poster Lagwa Do (Luka Chuppi; 2019).
A rank outsider herself, Gandhi believes that the system is far fairer than it was before the introduction of streaming platforms. “If you are really up for it, all you have to do is put your music out there and engage with the audience directly on whatever platform you choose, for instance Instagram, and I think that does level the playing field a lot,” she adds.
Given the pandemic, the film shoots and production came to a halt in March, and Gandhi feels that, in a way, gave a chance to independent music to shine due to the lack of fresh Bollywood songs. She says, “People are more in a majboori kind of a situation since they now have to mostly listen to non-film music, but I am also glad it has happened. Indie music creates a far more intimate relationship between the musician and listeners.”